Definition - What does Incapacity mean?

Incapacity or incapacitated refers to the lack of ability to properly manage business or property affairs. It also refers to the inability to perform a job due to injury or ill health, or refers to a person who lacks certain legal or financial qualifications (in this sense, the lack of resources or knowledge is the basis for the incapacity).

Incapacity can occur because of:

  • Mental deficiency
  • Mental illness
  • Physical disability
  • Illness
  • Heavy drug usage
  • Chronic intoxication
  • Detention
  • Confinement
  • Minority
  • Disappearance

Justipedia explains Incapacity

Incapacity is often implemented in several legal situations:

  • As a defense in court cases
  • When seeking Social Security disability benefits in reference to an inability to work
  • Within a court context to reflect to a jury and/or judge that a person should not be viewed on the same grounds as their peers because the person has one or more physical or psychological disabilities
  • Refering to someone who has no money or job (i.e., incapable of functioning financially in a normal manner)

One common example of incapacity is person in a coma, because they do not have the required judgment to make logical, informed decisions or take action.

A person declared incapacitated might require a guardianship.

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